1. Mobile Suit Gundam – Iron-Blooded Orphans (+2)
Gundam eked out the top spot this week, more through consistency than by getting better. It’s just very solid and I’m curious to see where it’s going. I’m also enjoying the interactions between Orga, Mika and Kudelia.
2. One Punch Man (-1)
Entertaining as it was, this episode seemed a little slow compared to the first two. There were some good gags, but the build-up to the fight was kinda long, considering you know from the start how it’s going to end. This is probably the point where it needs to start subverting expectations, or at least try a different approach. I’ve been told it gets interesting though, so we’ll see.
3. Garo: The Crimson Moon (+1)
Garo is pretty much the least interesting good show this season. Yeah, everything was sort all right. I didn’t particularly hate or love any part. I don’t even feel like saying anything about it. I do like that it seems to be getting into the plot faster than the first Garo did.
4. Concrete Revolutio (+2)
Episode 3 was a major improvement. I can see a lot of potential in this show, but it just needs to actually come out. It was still a bit chaotic and I don’t think the themes it was going for came through as strongly as they were supposed to, but at least I wasn’t both bored and lost the whole time. Since this episode is segueing straight into the next one, I’ll probably have to wait for that to come out before coming to any real conclusions.
5. Utawarerumono – Itsuwari no Kamen (-3)
Can one character ruin a show? I don’t know, but Rurutie is determined to find out. Okay, that’s a little unfair, since Maroro is also really starting to get on my nerves. Yeah he was fine last episode, but now he’s butting into every scene with his stupid jokes and it’s getting real tiresome. On the bright side, there’s a giant pigeon!
Nothing really consequential happened this week, other than showing that there’s a guy… with a mask! I wonder if this mask could possibly be some kind of lie.
6. Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider (+2)
Okay, so finally we get to the murder mystery part of the fucking murder mystery, three weeks in. Jeez. I mean, I’m vaguely interested in the story, but it’s just so damn slow. And I sure hope we’re going to get some better insight from the would-be detectives than “Red refers to a color. Communism. And blood.”
I’m not joking. That’s an actual thing said by a character in the show.
7. Sakurako-San (-2)
This week’s Sakurako-San was all right, it’s just all so convenient. Shit, you really couldn’t think of a way to tell this story without having them randomly stumble upon a corpse that just so happened to belong to a family member of a friend, in another town, by sheer fucking coincidence? Add in some excessive melodrama and it ends up sorta overshooting it goal.
8. Hackadoll (+2)
Well, you certainly can’t hate Hackadoll for being repetitive. The episodes are just short and novel enough to continue to be amusing. I’m certainly not laughing out loud, but I still want to see what else they’re going to do with it.
9. High School Star Musical (-)
In a huge shocking twist, the arrogant aloof dude secretly has a cute side and loves his cat. I know, no one could’ve seen that coming. But then he sings a song about his cat, so I’m cool with it.
It’s really kind of generic in the way the characters and story progression work, but the songs are just so cheesy I can’t help but like it.
10. Dance with Devils (-3)
Somehow I’d fallen into the trap of thinking Ritsuka was an actual character, and not a plaything for pretty boys to fight over. Her brother is a moron who tells her to stay away from the other guys without giving her a single reason to actually listen to him. She’s already seen a bunch of weird shit, just tell her they’re demons or whatever. Oh right, but then she wouldn’t run off and find herself in some creeplord’s magic rape garden.
11. Young Black Jack (+2)
The good news is that there are no gigantic asspulls in this episode. The bad news is that it’s still not that good. Some assholes make Hazama operate on someone, bystanders marvel at his amazing skill, yadda yadda.
12. Kagewani (-1)
This episode was something straight out of a Junji Ito manga, if Junji Ito forgot how to draw.
13. Kowabon (+1)
Scary ghost 2: Scary ghost in the office.
14. Lance n’ Masques (+3)
I have to admit, Lance n’ Masques is kind of endearing. And I’m not talking about what’s happening within the show, but the show itself. I mean, d’awww, just look at it! It’s trying to be all cool and heartful! That’s so adorable.
Compared to shows that seem to be going out of their way to be awful, Lance n’ Masques is the kind of bad you can’t really hate on, like a six-year-old kid’s drawings. It’s also a lot easier to buy that an actual child needs to be protected by a milquetoast teenage boy, than it is for the school’s best magician princess or the pilot of a 75m tall superweapon.
15. Comet Lucifer (-3)
Oohh boy. By this point it’s really obvious the first episode just happened to be decent by accident, because it’s really showing its true colors now. Half of this week’s episode was more cutesy bullshit, and somehow the second half was even worse. An obnoxious weirdo hacks the city and takes control of robots and other machinery in order to capture the girl. They respond by cleverly splitting up the two people required to summon a giant robot, and hiding inside a monorail car instead of literally any other place. What’s that? The hacker took control of the car? No fucking way.
And why the hell does no one care about the plot? You’ve got a magic caterpillar who seems to know everything, but no one’s asking questions like “who the hell are you?”, “who the hell is this girl?” or “why the hell do I suddenly have a brand that lets me turn you into a giant robot?”. You’d think those would be pretty useful things to know.
But no, it’s more important to watch a mentally disabled girl chase after birds and making cute noises.
16. Heavy Object (-1)
Milinda is getting like, negative character development. She started out as an elite pilot, but in the last two episodes her role has been solely to get captured so that the main characters can save her, and maybe stand around staring blankly into the distance for a bit.
Speaking of the main characters, they were pulling so much shit out of their asses this whole damn episode. Boy, it sure is convenient that this base they’re infiltrating seems to be completely abandoned, even though at the end they show like 30 people being taken prisoner. And apparently Objects have irreversible self-destruct sequences that can be triggered through minor sabotage. Yeah that sounds like a great idea all right. And then they phone home by overclocking a missile laucher or some bullshit. I don’t know, it made no fucking sense.
Oh and the fact that they destroyed an Object through sabotage instead of an honorable one-on-one duel is apparently such a paradigm shift it will CHANGE THE VERY NATURE OF WAR.
17. Asterisk (-1)
There is some more “girl comes on to potato and he freaks out like his life is in danger”. This part is groanworthy. Then Ayato and Julis hang out together and have a burger and beat up some goons. This part is tolerable. Then Ayato’s brain falls out and the end of the episode happens. This part is mind-boggling.
So, some sinister people are trying to incapacitate Julis and prevent her from taking part in the tournament. Ayato is asked to keep an eye on her. So of course when he sees Julis receiving a mysterious note and running off saying she “has something to do”, his response is to shrug and do nothing. Bwuhhh? And then, when he’s reminded that hey, you should go check it out, his response is to run out and jump off the roof of a like 20 story building. The end. Of the episode, but presumably also the show, since there’s no evidence that Ayato can fly.
18. JK Meshi (+1)
19. AntiMagic Academy 35th Test Platoon (-1)
What’s with the fucking world-building in this show? I know it’s pointless to nitpick about one particular detail in a show this bad, but seriously. Shomin Sample might be an atrocity of an anime, but at least I can understand what it’s about. Meanwhile, in 35th, all I know is that there’s an inquisition and they hunt witches, and being a witch is a bad thing. What do witches do? What kind of witchcraft do they use? Why are they such a threat that there’s an entire force dedicated to fighting them? What separates witch magic from enchanted weapon magic? Instead of answering any question that might give me the slightest reason to care about this world, we get more stupid girls blushing and the protagonist being the nicest and most understanding person ever.
So in the third episode the team is joined by a witch, who has conveniently lost her memory so she doesn’t accidentally tell us anything interesting about the setting. She does start arguing that magic isn’t all bad, but that there’s also some good magic! Okay, makes sense. Except that I wasn’t given enough evidence to believe that all magic was bad in the first place.
So does good magic also count as witchcraft? Is all magic outlawed? How common is magic anyway? I might harp on other shows for their boring exposition, but 35th almost makes me wish there was a wall of text telling me what the deal is. All we’ve seen so far is generic men in suits (were they witches? Or were they just witch flunkies? Are witches like yakuza bosses?), and some absurd cartoon villain serial killer. I mean seriously, if you’re going to start getting all relativist and saying that maybe not all witches are bad, maybe give me a reason to think otherwise first. Like with a sample size greater than one.
But there’s no time for world building. We have a tournament arc to watch. Because of course we do.
20. Cavalry (+1)
In true anime fashion, the highly talented and hardworking Stella once again fails to beat some villain of the week and needs to be bailed out by the guy, again. And is forced to strip to her underwear in the process, under threat of violence. Yeah, that’s the kind of fanservice people like, the rapey kind.
The rest of the episode is basically the dude’s sister cockblocking Stella at every moment while he stands there uselessly like a cardboard cutout. Stella herself struggles to ask him out on a date when she was totally fine with rubbing her naked body on him last episode. Yep. Just another day in Cavalry.
Oh right and the guy can turn off his color perception and redirect that brain power to other areas. This is an actual thing he can do. But I guess it doesn’t count as magic, so he’s still a loser.
21. Shomin Sample (-1)
14-year-old girl who looks like a child has severe autism and randomly undresses herself in public.
Ha ha, mental illness! What a laugh riot!